The Michigan Abortion Refusal Act

Since the United States Supreme Court handed down the landmark decisions of Roe v. Wade andDoe v. Bolton, which placed constitutional limitations, on state regulation of abortions, efforts have been made on the federal and state levels to blunt the effect of those cases. One prevalent reaction has been the enactment of state “conscience clause” legislation, such as the Michigan Abortion Refusal Act, which seeks to extend to all hospitals the right to refuse admission of abortion patients. This legislative note will consider whether the Michigan conscience clause is legally necessary to ensure the right it seeks to establish for (1) “denominational” hospitals, (2) “private” hospitals, and (3) “public” hospitals. In addition, the constitutionality of the Act as to each class of hospital will be assessed in light of the standards enunciated by the Supreme Court in Wade and Bolton.